From talking to my Mummy friends, food strikes seem to be a common occurrence and come in all shapes and forms. Just in my little circle of friends we've had:
- Refusal to eat any solids and very little milk (this was L)
- Taking food into mouth then spitting it out immediately (yup, L again)
- Refusal to eat any savoury food
- Sudden refusal to be spoonfed
- Refusal of foods that were previously favourites
- Sudden refusal to eat breakfast (all other meals were fine)
- One random week of happily eating from a spoon, which stopped as suddenly as it started (L again)
- Gleefully blowing all food out of the mouth in sudden explosive raspberries (not good news for sofas, walls and carpets!)
Obviously it's important to contact a Doctor if you have any concerns about your baby not eating. I am now on first name terms with everyone at my local out of hours GP service, particularly those manning the phones at 3am. Reassured that L wasn't going to starve himself, I tried a few different things...
- Stopping solid food altogether while he had a temperature. Under 1, milk is the most important source of nutrition so I focused on making sure he had enough of that and forgot about everything else.
- Offering at least one favourite food at each meal. I figured if he wasn't going to eat that, he wasn't going to eat anything.
- Sticking to comforting, plain foods - omelette, porridge, pasta,mashed potato - when he was getting back into it. Nothing too acidic or strongly flavoured.
- Making yogurt smoothie pops - a way of getting liquids and milk into him which also soothed sore gums and/or throat
- Using my freezer stash - spending time preparing meals then throwing them in the bin can be a bit soul destroying so I raided my freezer for things that could be prepared quickly
- Repeating to myself 'This too shall pass'. A lot.
It's taken a good 4 or 5 weeks to get back to where we were with his food. In the meantime I recommend patience, perseverance and plenty of chocolate for Mama. :)